Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Want to Improve Indoor Air Quality this Winter?

Spider Plant by madaise

There are some houseplants that do a much better than average job of exchanging the CO2 we exhale into the O2 we inhale. Plus there’s some great plants for absorbing VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) given off by paints, formaldehyde in synthetic carpeting, and organic chemicals used in the manufacture of paneling, cabinet parts, ceiling tile, underlayment or subflooring, doors and more.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue aka Snake Plant by unclevinny

The Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), “the Living Room Plant,” does its best work during the day; Mother-in-Law’s Tongue aka Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), “the Bedroom Plant,” converts CO2 into O2 during the night.

The Money Plant
(Epipremnum aureum), is “the Specialist Plant,” and is excellent for removing formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Philodendron, Pothos and Spider Plants also do a very effective job of removing VOC’s from the air.

Other indoor plants to consider are Peace Lilys, Boston ferns, Ficus Benjamina (weeping fig), Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm) and rubber plants. All these plants listed increase indoor humidity in winter, helping to counteract dry skin and dry coughs.

To be really efficient, it is recommended to have at least 2 plants, each in 8”-10” pots, per 10’ x 10’ area. Use three, it gives the room a nice balance!

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